A cross between Horrible Bosses and Halloween, Joshua Hull's fourth feature Chopping Block follows three corporate drones who decide to kidnap their boss’s daughter after getting the ax at work. Little do they know, a masked serial killer akin to Michael Myers is also after her.
Hull finished shooting Chopping Block in Fishers in July, and it will be the first release from the production company he launched earlier this month, 1019 Pictures. The film's now in the cutting room, where Hull hopes its humor and horror elements will click together — as they did for his first feature, Beverly Lane, which earned Hull a Golden Cob award for Best Emerging Filmmaker, a positive review from famed movie website Ain’t It Cool News, and support from fans at horror conventions around the city.
Hull sat down after the strenuous shooting of his new film to talk about where he's heading.
NUVO: So, you filmed a 95-page script in eight days. How does the film feel when you're sitting down and looking at the completed footage compared to when you were running around shooting it?
Joshua Hull: We went through a grueling shoot on Chopping Block that included two, back-to-back, 22-hour days. When we all sit down and look at the completed footage, I think the first thought is, “How the hell did we even do this?”
This is the second time I’ve made a feature in less than 10 days. It’s tough, man, but if you can pull it off, it’s an incredible feeling. We are just now really diving into post on the film, but we’re at that point where I can start to enjoy the footage and really laugh, instead of scrambling to set up the next shot or block out the actors. I don’t have a lot of time to enjoy a take or certain performance while on set since we had to constantly be moving, so this is the fun part where I get to be the first audience member.
NUVO: What would you say to other local aspiring filmmakers who just finished shooting something? What are good steps to take or attitudes to adopt after wrapping a film?
Hull: I would say get it out there, especially if it’s their first project. I had zero expectations for my first feature, Beverly Lane. I just made a silly zombie comedy and sent it out to everyone. [In addition to selling the DVD at horror conventions around the city, Hull premiered Beverly Lane at the Hamilton 16 theater in Noblesville.] You have to give yourself a chance to get out there. And not just here in Indiana. The goal shouldn’t be to be the biggest or best filmmaker in the state. The goal is to be the best filmmaker you can be and keep growing with every film. Don’t be afraid to get bad reviews. Everybody gets those. Everybody gets talked about. But don’t fall in the trap of letting people talk you out of doing what you know you can do. There’s a lot of bullshit out there. Roll your jeans up and wade through it.
NUVO: After shooting a couple projects here and promoting films across Indiana theaters and horror conventions, what have you learned about “Indy filmmaking?”
Hull: You have to roll with the punches. It’s not all going to be fun, but it will all be an education. I think people are starting to realize that Indy has a scene they can come work in and make a movie that will be seen by a lot of people.
NUVO: Tell me a little about 1019 Pictures.
Hull: My first three productions (Beverly Lane, Voice Over, The Impersonators) were all under the Arsonist Pictures banner. A lot has happened behind the scenes the last few years with my productions and proposed productions. A lot of disappointments, a lot of bad tastes in my mouth. Chopping Block is a return to my chaotic roots, and it has served as my creative rebirth. And my daughter was born on 10/19, so there’s a lot of personal meaning and passion behind this. Chopping Block will be the first production with the new 1019 Pictures banner. We are already planning another film that will see release before the end of 2014. It’s a new beginning for us, and we are all excited about the future.